Wine, dine and more: a Valentine’s Day Planner

Share the love at these wide-ranging community events and activities

Searching for an event to share with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day Weekend?

Here is a list of varied offerings in Hood River and the rest of the Gorge:

Feb. 14-17 — Columbia Gorge Wine and Chocolate Weekend at more than 30 wineries in the Columbia Gorge. Enjoy wine and chocolate pairings, special releases, discounts and more.

Locations range from Underwood to Lyle, and The Dalles to Hood River, including six downtown Hood River tasting rooms.

For a full listing of wineries, hours and activities visit

The Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Association is a nonprofit association of local wineries, grape-growers and wine-related businesses that incorporated in 2000 to promote the grapes and wines of the Columbia Gorge region. The group is currently comprised of over 100 members from both Oregon and Washington.

Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Dinner, at 6 p.m., an interactive event, promises romance, an Italian dinner, dancing, troubadours, and intrigue as you discover how Valentine’s Day began when you step back to 269 AD and meet Father Valentine, (played by Lou DeSitter) at the Hood River Elks Club.

Other performers include Sheriff Matt English, District Attorney John Sewell, and orchardist Mike Oates.

You will also have the experience of enjoying some special music by traveling troubadours who will be on hand to serenade your valentine

Cost is $75 per couple; ticket sales end Feb. 6 or when all 60 are sold. Tickets are available at Waucoma Bookstore, Elks Club, or at St. Mary’s Church.

The evening will also include St. Valentine’s blessing for each couple for the coming year.

Feb. 14 — Eighth annual Lasagna Feed to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters, 5-8 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church, 1280 W Jewett Blvd., White Salmon.

This is all you can eat lasagna, salad, garlic bread and dessert. Cost is $10 for adults, $6 for children (7 and under). There is also a “Chinese Auction” and raffle with fabulous prizes donated by local businesses. All proceeds go to benefit kids in our communities. Big Brothers Big Sisters matches local youth with screened, trained and caring adult role models to form positive friendships for a lifetime! This fundraiser is generously hosted by Beneventi’s Pizza in Bingen and Canyon Market in Klickitat.

Feb. 14 — Hood River guitarist extraordinaire Ben Bonham presents an album release party at The Pines tasting room, Second and Cascade, from 5-7 p.m. Bonham’s new release made up of jazz standard love songs in finger style.

Feb. 14 — Secret Salsa Society holds a “Valentine’s Special Event” dance party at Mt. View Grange, 1085 N. Main St., White Salmon, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10; no partner required, with lessons by instructors Johnny and Hannah Griffith.

Feb. 14 and 17 — “Scandinavian Romance,” a pair of performances by Gorge Sinfonietta, featuring music by Telemann, Boehme and Sibelius.

Performances are Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at The Dalles Civic Auditorium and Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Wy’east Middle School in Odell.

Admission is by suggested donation of $10.

Feb. 15 — Puttin’ on the Ritz Valentine Gala, 7-9 p.m. at St. Peter’s Parish Center, The Dalles.

This is the 10th year the local Beta Sigma Phi, Preceptor Alpha Epsilon chapter, a women’s international sorority, has partnered to put on this popular Valentine event honoring the local Arc-Mid-Columbia.

The Arc Mid-Columbia is a local chapter of The Arc U.S., a national nonprofit organization that supports families and individuals from birth to adulthood with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The dance is a time for these talented and deserving individuals to shine and enjoy an evening of dancing, refreshments, good friendship and fun. All ages are welcome.

St. Peter’s Parish Center will be transformed into a special setting and provide a great evening of entertainment, including door prizes and refreshments. This year’s event will have some super raffle items that individuals can buy chances for. All participants will be greeted with a corsage or boutonniere and a warm welcome at the door.

The popular DJ Randy Bell of Hood River will spin the tunes for your dancing entertainment. Masters of ceremonies Joe Carroll and John Mabry will keep the family fun dance hopping with contests and award the trophies for best dressed. Individual or group photos will be available to take home as a remembrance of the night.

The sorority’s husbands, local Arc board members and community volunteers will also be a part of the event. There is no charge for admission. All donations will benefit of the local Arc Mid-Columbia.

This is a special evening of entertainment, dress up, bring your friends and family, come to The Dalles and join in the fun. If you are interested in volunteering for this event or need more information call 541-478-2133.

Feb. 14 — Glass blowing and metal working classes at Glassometry in Odell include Valentine’s Day heart-making workshop. Discover a new passion while staying warm in a hot shop

Check out new class offerings at to find classes that range from two hours to six weeks.

Glassometry Studios is located at 3015 Lower Mill Drive, off Highway 35.

Feb. 14 — Hood River Aquatic Center will be hosting its 13th annual Complimentary Pancake Breakfast from 8-10 a.m. in the Aquatic Center Party Room. The event is free and open to the public.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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